Mayer Sixth, Shafer Seventh in Hickory LM Fall Brawl

JR Motorsports | 10/21/2019

Fall Brawl Hickory Jonathan Shafer Late Model News Sam Mayer

JRM teammates Sam Mayer and Jonathan Shafer both drove to top-10 finishes in Sunday's rain-delayed Fall Brawl at Hickory Motor Speedway.

Track Specs: .363-mile oval / 200 laps
Mayer’s start/finish: 7th/6th             
Shafer’s start/finish:  11th/7th      

HICKORY, N.C. (Oct. 21, 2019) – Sam Mayer, winner of the recent Bobby Isaac Memorial at Hickory Motor Speedway, had plans to pull off a big-race sweep on Sunday afternoon in the Fall Brawl, but those plans were foiled by a dominant performance from eventual winner Taylor Gray. Teammate Jonathan Shaffer, making his first start for JR Motorsports and at Hickory, earned a top 10 in the team’s No. 98 Chevrolet.

Mayer, who was crowned NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion last week, felt he had the car to win the 200-lap event and bookend the big races at the tail of Hickory Motor Speedway’s schedule, and had the upper hand had the race been run in the cool weather on Saturday rather than the hotter weather on Sunday.

Firing off from seventh place in the No. 88 Chevrolet usually driven by team leader Josh Berry, Mayer had to deal with a loose condition from the first lap on. The car, set up for the cooler, rainy weather on Saturday, lost speed the longer the race went and Mayer had his hands full keeping station. After a caution-free first 100 laps, the young Wisconsin driver pitted for two tires and adjustments on the break and went back out, but could not advance.

Shafer, competing in his first extra-distance Late Model race, qualified 11th for the 200-lap event and spent the distance learning what it takes to compete at this level. After telling team manager Bryan Shaffer he was a little tight on entry, the 14-year-old Ohio driver went back out and concentrated on moving forward. At the break, he pitted for his tires and adjustments and brought the No. 98 JRM Chevrolet home right behind Mayer in seventh.

Gray won the event, leading wire-to-wire to top Gracie Trotter, Gage Painter, Ryan Vargas and Nolan Pope. The JRM duo of Mayer and Shafer were next, followed by Vince Midas, Landon Huffman, Jeremy Pelfrey and Zeke Shell.

Next action for JRM is Nov. 2, when the team will travel to South Boston (Va.) Speedway for the CARS Racing Tour season finale. Berry will enter the race just nine points out of the lead behind Bobby McCarty.

Sam Mayer, driver No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet team

“I really wish we could have gotten this one. The Fall Brawl is another very prestigious race, along with the Bobby Isaac Memorial at Hickory. I feel like our car was better when it was cooler, and that’s why we struggled on Sunday, since it was so hot. Ended up sixth, but I feel we deserved better. I can’t thank JRM enough for all they do, letting me drive this weekend, and Josh Berry for helping out!”  

Jonathan Shafer, driver No. 98 JR Motorsports Chevrolet team

“We qualified 11th and just wanted to go out and be smooth and learn today. We did that and managed to finish in the top 10. It was a great experience for me to drive for JR Motorsports against good competition at a track like Hickory Motor Speedway.”

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RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick (P)40400
2Cole Custer (P)4035-5
3Christopher Bell (P)4032-8
4Justin Allgaier (P)4023-17
5Chase Briscoe #2302-1738
6Austin Cindric2294-1746
7John Hunter Nemechek #2253-1787
8Noah Gragson #2246-1794
9Michael Annett2239-1801